TNT stalwart Troy Rosario hopes that the addition of Poy Erram and the return of Ray Parks can put the team over the hill soon.
In the offseason, TNT was able to pull off a trade for defensive ace Poy Erram. The addition of Erram gave the KaTropa a frontcourt that is capable of defending the league's top local big men, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed plans of what could have been a promising campaign.
"Sa mga nangyaring trade medyo nadagdagan kami ng height e so nandiyan na si Poy, medyo may panapat na kami sa mga big guys ng ibang teams tapos medyo bata pa kami so yung tangke namin medyo [malakas pa]," Rosario said in an interview on the 2OT podcast on Saturday.
In addition, Ray Parks, Jr. signed a one-year extension with the team. "Before naman mapunta si Ray sa TNT, medyo hindi na maganda yung ano namin kasi doon ata nainjure si Jayson, so pagpasok niya talagang pressured siya na mag contribute agad. 'Yun nga yung sinasabi niya nung nag-three straight losses kami sa pagdating niya," recollected Rosario.
Parks had shown some great games with the KaTropa, but lack of chemistry unfurled during their Game 7 loss against Meralco in the Governors' Cup semis.
"Noong kinausap ako parang sabi niya sinisisi niya yung sarili niya na baka siya yung nakakasira ng momentum namin. Sabi ko naman sa kaniya na 'Hindi, bago ka pa dumating medyo shaky na kami so 'wag mo sisihin yung sarili mo.' Ngayon nmedyo mahaba-haba na yung preparation namin, sa tingin ko nakapag-adjust na siya," he added.
After a lengthy absence in the finals, the KaTropa found themselves vying for the crown in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals behind the stellar play of former Houston Rocket Terrence Jones.
Jones, who eventually bagged the Best Import of the Conference plum, and his team were able to take the series opener and were poised to go up 2-0, but eventually lost Game 2 in double overtime, 127-125.
Rosario rued the mistakes his team committed down the stretch of that game. The KaTropa also muffed four straight free throws late in the first extension to help the Beermen force a second overtime. To make matters worse, Jones was ejected a few seconds prior.
That loss, which somehow changed the complexion of the series, still stings, said Rosario.
"Minsan kapag nakikita ko sa... mahilig ako manood sa YouTube ng mga highlights, kapag nakikita ko yun, talagang pinapatay ko yung TV e. Close ko ka agad, ayaw ko makita e," Rosario said.
Although TNT rebounded with a 115-105 win in Game 3, San Miguel took the next three games to win the title, 4-2.